Dec. 11: Regional TubaChristmas celebration in McGarvey Commons

November 30, 2010

Once a year, in December, regional low-brass players receive a gift: They get to play a performance from the front row instead of their usual spots in the back.

TubaChristmas will put tuba and euphonium players front and center for its ninth annual concert, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 11, in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Union Building at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. The performance begins at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A cookie reception will follow.

TubaChristmas features the performance of songs of the season interpreted by a choir of student, amateur and professional low-brass musicians performing under guest directors Gary Viebranz of Penn State Behrend; Daniel Burdick of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania; and Lowell Hepler and Ronald Stitt of Allegheny College. This year’s performance will honor the life and work of TubaChristmas founder Harvey Phillips, a musician the New York Times hailed as the “Titan of the Tuba” following Phillips’ October death.

Any brass musician is invited to join the TubaChristmas performance; rehearsals will be held on site that morning. To register to perform, visit the Web site or contact Viebranz at 814-898-6289 or

TubaChristmas debuted at Rockefeller Center’s ice rink in 1974 as a tribute to the late tuba legend William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902. The event has since grown to the point that it was held in 252 cities in 2009. TubaChristmas is produced by the Harvey Phillips Foundation; the Erie performance is supported by the Mary Behrend Cultural Fund.

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Last Updated December 01, 2010